Paddy Harry the Open Champ

Boy, what a british open.

Sure, our prediction sucked again as the horse we bet on bombed spectacularly (KJ scored 40 on the front and shot an 8 on the last!!), and none of the dark horse even had a shot at it–Ross Fisher also shot 8 on the last enroute to a 79, AK shot 3 bogeys in the last 3 holes to come in for 40, and +12, and the only guy who had a shot as predicted was Henrik Stenson at +9 but he was 6 strokes off the lead.

You’ve got to hand it to KJ though. If any of us played like that, we would have been chewing the rubber off our club’s grip. I’ve never seen that dude lose his temper, the way Ernie did on the 2nd day when he tomahawked his putter after missing the putt on 18th.

So did Norman bombed as predicted? I wished he played better, it would have been a heck of a story if the shark won it. But no, he started with 3 bogeys on a trot and faded.

And the anonymous Wakefield shot 43 on the back 9 in a game very reminiscent of ours.

At the end, we’re quite happy with the result as Paddy has always been a favourite. But more importantly David Duval, Gilagolf’s most favourite, finished better than Sergio Garcia, Gilagolf’s least favourite.

A great Tiger-less Major!!

The British Open

Once again, we head to the final day of a major championship, one that has been slightly more interesting than expected. Without Tiger, it’s like throwing a 21st birthday party and only inviting your grandmother’s friends over and watch reruns of Gone With the Wind, which is pretty apt, because that’s exactly what we should be calling this British Open in Royal Birkdale, England.

The first round and third round were absolutely horrific for the golfers, and one that we took special interest in was our all time favourite man in shades: Mr David Duval. He played spectacular for two rounds and as we eagerly waited for his tee off for the third round, he rewarded us with a triple bogey and a downward spiral more painful to watch than removing your toenails with a rusted plier. He was already like +10 before the turn and at that time, all our hopes of him winning the Open had been dashed. Game over, Mr Duval, we’ll have to wait another day for a possible fairytale. Like Tiger, I felt that he jinxed himself after the round 2 in his interview, saying that he is coming to greatness.

You know what that means. Falling flat back onto earth in the most humiliating fashion possible to mankind.

OK, the Gilagolf Prediction Engine has been tweaked and here are the nominees to lift the Claret Jug!

1. Greg Norman

It would be a fairytale but sorry no. We all recall 1996 Masters when Greg imploded in one of golf’s greatest meltdowns in history. He’s going to face it once again (failure, but not the meltdown), but it will be a close call. He won’t implode, but look to see his 2 stroke lead evaporate by the turn and then it’s a free for all. Which comes to blows between:

2. Paddy Harrington

We all like Paddy. Especially the way he walks. If you noticed the way he walks, he strides with complete expression across the fairways. It’s like Bozo the Clown with the size 20 shoes. His gait is definitely very advantageous especially with 50 KM winds buffeting the smaller guys around. Tim Clark has to tie a chainball to his feet to keep him from flying off into the ocean. Will Paddy repeat? No, he won’t. He’ll be crashing in the back 9.

3. KJ Choi

The first asian to win a major? I would love to live to see the day, but it is a possibility. KJ has played 3 days of pretty fantastic golf, with the expression of a piece of brick. He has shown that he has what it takes to win tournaments and in line with so many first time major winners grabbing the Claret Jug, GPE is highy biased to KJ. Also, GPE is automatically skewed to any Asians with any chance to win. And we’re talking about Asian Asians, not the ones who are Asians but has the American flag next to their names, although we think AK is cool and he’s very good…but KJ CHOI YOU ARE THE BRITISH OPEN CHAMP!!!! GO KJ!!!!!!

4. Simon Wakefield

There is no data for this person in GPE. We will just assume he will fizzle out under the intense scrutiny that comes from playing the last few groups.

Dark Horses

Anthony Kim — Told ya we liked AK. He is confident enough not to meltdown, but his game might not be complete enough to negotiate the winds. But his belt buckle is big, so that will work for him.

Ross Fisher — This dude blew the field in The European Open a couple of weeks back by 7 shots. SEVEN!

Henrik Stenson — He’s always a dangerous guy. Plus, he has a woman caddie, Fanny, which we think is quite cool. How often do you get a woman to lug a bag for you for nearly 5 miles a day? He must have some special persuasive powers no one else has.

A Rich Man's Game

I’m a golf evangelist.

As in, I’m always telling people it’s a great game.

Like most religion (and golf is NOT, I am just making an analogy), there’s always resistance and in golf, the biggest challenge is to get people to start the game. Once they are hooked, they won’t stop. The all time favourite resistant response is:

“It’s a rich man game la….”

It’s a known fact that golf retailers markup about 30%-40%, so for a single club, they are probably making a profit of about 300 bucks or so. But it’s not really the retailer’s fault because they need to make a profit and the manufacturers are already killing them with the increasing wholesale prices. Think about it. 99% of the clubs are made in China, in some sweat houses that pays workers like USD1 per day. You’d think the cost of making clubs is going lower and lower and lower.

You are right. So why the heck is the club’s prices soaring? The ridiculous CGB Max from Taylormade is at 2200RM. Who are they trying to sucker?! (If you bought it, much apologies, nothing personal).

Manufacturers are raising the prices not because there’s like a bunch of technology involved or the clubs are getting more complicated. They are raising prices to cover for the increase in their advertising and sponsorship for the pros. How much does Nike have to cough up for Tiger? How much Callaway does for Ernie and Phil? They lower costs, jack up prices to retailers and customers suffer with pricings like RM1500 per driver.

Sure, you say, nowadays, drivers are full of technology. No, seriously, do you think a couple of screws at the back of the club is gonna make much difference to the average hacker? It might, but we’re still gonna suck regardless. Trust me. If you bought a new driver for about RM2200 and you immediately shoot 10 strokes lower, let me know. More likely, we’ll hover around the same score, unless we change our swings. And how different can the new burner be, compared to the old one, except the aesthetics? And is there a whole lot of difference between the Hi Bore XLS and the Hi Bore XL? In fact, I hit best with the Hi Bore original, compared to the other more ‘high tech’ drivers.

No, golf is a rich man’s game only if you want it to be.

Most of us have a lot more other things to do than to just play golf, unfortunately. We have loans to pay, and a life to run, which cost money, unless we decide to live in a cave and eat guano. So 99% of people will look at the price first before starting off and go, “Wah, so expensive one ah….”

There are 2 ways out of this.

1) Wait for retail sale and grab the best pricing possible. This is a good idea actually and later, I’ll show you where there are pretty good deals for new clubs (probably older models but still, new). The problem with this is that when you want to get it, it’s no longer there, because of the kiasu-ness of malaysians. Or even after the sale, it’s still outside of your reach.

2) Second hand clubs. This is the idea I support, because when it comes to golf, I am a cheapskate. Technology is improving at such a rapid pace that it’s now common for manufacturers to release 2-3 models in a season, rendering last season’s clubs obsolete. Of course, you need to be extra careful buying second hand clubs, and you need to make sure they aren’t hacked to death, or knock offs. I’ll write another post on this later.

In conclusion, golf is actually a very affordable game. You should get a decent set of clubs you can play with for some time, that means forget about those all in one sets for RM500, RM600. They suck. I don’t care if they are from Mizuno, Maruman or whatever. If you end up loving the game, you’ll buy another set almost immediately. If you end up hating the game, you can’t even sell the set to a hobo.

A fictional set that costs RM1400:

Ping Eye 2 irons 3i – SW – RM500

Adams Insight Driver – RM390

Cobra 3 Wood – RM180

TaylorMade Rescue Mid – RM200

Cobra IM-02 Putter – RM130

You can even go cheaper if you want, by taking a lousy putter, or removing the 3 wood, but with a set like this, you can probably use this for many years to come. So think before you pop up RM1500 for the new driver that actually costs only a fraction of the price you paid.

Good Deals Around Town
Here are some good deals around town:

1) [MST] TM Burner (OLD)RM888

2) [MST] Nike Sumo (Old) RM590 (R) – RM690 (S)

3) [RGT] Srixon w-506RM800

4) [Isetan KLCC] Cobra F Speed RM590

5) [Isetan KLCC] Nike Sumo Square (Old) RM750

These are the best ones I’ve found so far. MST also offers the new Callaway Hyper X for RM1050.

Also, Isetan KLCC is selling used Never Compromise Voodoo Daddy for about RM360 (after 20%). I am a HUGE Never Compromise fan, and I have exactly the same putter selling for RM250. And mine is better conditioned. Mine doesn’t have a headcover, but it still doesn’t justify for the RM100 difference. Hence, despite their ‘sale’, retailers still need to go lower!!

Isetan KLCC


There used to be better deals for Hi Bore XL at RM700, TM R7 Draw at RM700 and Callaway X460 at RM700 (giving you an idea of the markup retailers get), but I can no longer get those. I doubt anyone can get those deals anymore. I’ll post up more once I find some good deals around town.

Happy Hacking!

Templer Park Country Club


I’ve waited quite a long time to play at Templer Park, and thinking that my game was coming around after an 83 at Bangi, I was pretty confident of doing well. See, Templer Park is a player’s course. So if you do well there, you know you’re getting somewhere in your game. Plus, it’s quite a premier course as well, and after seeing pictures of that mountain thingy (it’s called Takun Mountain, though it’s really theoretically a limestone rock), it’s a must play course for Gilagolf, up there with Clearwater, Saujana, Palm and Datai.

Travel (3/5)

As a kid, I recall traveling for hours to get to Templer’s Park. It used to be so darn far! Now with the wonderful advent of modern roads, pristine Malaysian forests are plowed down so we can get from the city to the remaining pristine forests in shorter time. The easiest way is from PJ, head over to Kepong. After the LDP toll, stay right and go up the flyover and you’ll be heading towards Batu Caves. Look for signs for Ipoh where you’ll need to turn off. At the roundabout, take a left and you’ll be on the old Ipoh road. From there, it’s 21 KM down a scenic drive and you need to make a U turn and Templer’s Park Golf is on your left. You’ll come to a T junction and you’ll see Templer and Perangsang, i.e Heaven and Hell. Guess which one to take?

The only disadvantage is that it gets very jam during rush hour. The entire area is clogged up for some reason, and though it’s accessible, you need to leave early to get there in time. Oh yeah, Templer Park is very anal about their tee time. You miss it, it’s too bad for you. You’ll get bumped down the food chain.

Price (2/5)

The cheapest way to play at Templer is to purchase the Top Premier book for about RM160. It has 2-3 vouchers for Templer park, and you end up paying about 50 bucks or something to play. Else, if you’re a walkin, you’ll be spitted upon and charged 135RM for a weekday. Seriously, get the Top Premier book.

Now, I understand if it’s RM135 on a weekday. I get it. It’s a top course. It has many Japanese speaking people there. It has this huge hill that looks like the crystal rock I have on my office table. I get it. What I don’t get is this: WHY ARE YOU CHARGING US NORMAL PRICE WHEN YOUR COURSE IS OBVIOUSLY NOT PLAYING NORMAL??

It gets a 2, and you’ll see later what we’re so pissed off about.

First thoughts

Class. Those were my thoughts. I liked the changing room. You take off your shoes. Very Japanese. I liked the F&B area, there’s a wide garden and the huge lime rock looks over you. And the course looks fascinating. Everything here reeks of class…and I think for a change from all the other golf clubs, it really is cool. And also, one of the Gilalogy is this: If there’s a course that is next door or nearby, almost always your course will be extra good, if it’s the better one. Look at Kota Permai. It overshadows Bukit Kemuning. Palm Garden overshadows UPM. Across the road here is Perangsang. I’ve never played there, but I heard it’s a poor man’s Templer. So, we’ll give it a miss for now.

Service (4/5)

The moment you get down from your car, you’ll be greeted by eager caddies. I like the service for the little things they do. Like having a specially modified buggy to take the golf sets without piling them lock stock and barrel into a normal buggy like the stupid Bukit Kemuning and Tiara Melaka. It’s very considerate of them. The check in was quick and painless, the locker room clean, and the buggy waiting area very orderly. The caddie needed some work, because she kept giving me the wrong yardage and she couldn’t find my ball on the third hole when I clocked up a triple, but overall, very good service.

Fairways (2/5)

Ok, now you will see why we’re so pissed.

The first 3 fairways were unplayable. That’s right. I mean this wasn’t just a part of it that was being maintained. They were ripping up the entire course! I see chunks of dirt and carpets of grass littering the whole course like gigantic cow dung. I see casual water around the first fairway, I see my ball resting a huge clump of dirt and I can’t even drop, since, the whole fairway was stuffed up. Holes that you could sprain your ankles in. For a while, I wanted to march back up to the nice registration lady who gave me an A Class service and shout, “I PAID RM135 FOR THIS?!”

Of course, in a civilized world, that would be unacceptable, so we bit the bullet, struggled through the first few holes.

After the 3rd hole, the fairways finally reverted back to normal condition, which was pretty good. But it doesn’t save it. You charge me RM135 to essentially play 16 holes since the 2nd hole was a par 3.

Greens (4/5)

Thank God they weren’t messing around with greens as well. Templer green was almost perfect. We were all a little spoilt after Beringin, but it held up to the rain very well. One thing about Templer is that the greens are huge. I don’t know if it’s me, but regulation doesn’t mean a thing. I thought my putting was pretty ok, but I struggled like a monkey getting the speed right. At the par 5 12th, I made a complete fool of myself, where putting off the front, I putted off it, and three putted back in. It was just one of those days. I think we were all a little upset over the condition of the fairways, since all of us struggled the first few holes.

Rough (3/5)

The rough here punishes us in a way that Clearwater does. Because Templer is deceivingly long (at 6150m, it’s medium but for some reason, it plays almost 300m longer), the rough catches your ball and turns your par 4s to par5s and your par5s to God knows what. I was actually driving very well—I avoided the dreaded duck hook, my crapshot, and this time, I was pushing the ball right (which was an improvement to me, trust me). Several times I landed into trouble with the ample water, but the first 9 was supposed to be easier, and I scored a massive 49 on it. Most of this was because of the bunkers.

There is a LOT OF BUNKERS. Can’t say anything anymore. It severely degrades your game when you hit a bunker, hit out and hitting 3 into the green from 140 – 150 meters and hope it’s close for par or at least bogey. Make a mistake and hit one in the bunker again, you’ll likely look at some inflated scoring.

Aesthetics (5/5)

The selling point is always the aesthetics of Templer. With that gigantic crystal rock overlooking everything, every hole plays to its shadows. It’s quite imposing, and we played the first nine under clear skies, but the weather made a U turn and down came the rain again, spoiling another good game.

When the rain dissipated, the course took on an even more surreal look; with low hanging clouds hugging the Takun Mountain, and drifting around the course. Templer is quite a beauty, every hole bringing in a different look. The par 4 3rd plays flat as flat can be; yet the imposing 15th par 5 is framed by jungle on both sides and takes a huge dive down into the green; cascading down like a lush, green waterfall. The snarling 169m par 3 8th requires a deadly carry over water, and bunker. The magnificent par 4 12th takes a risky path over jungle down to a narrow strip of fairway. The beautiful par 3 16th, a elevated tee shot to a green peeking over a brook, that has a stone bridge across it, a’la Hogan Bridge in Augusta. The par 4 17th, at 425 is highly impressive, and with a good drive and a hybrid, I only managed to kiss the front lip of the humongous green.

And of course, the signature ending hole, the 18th. The mountain looked down at us, frowning at our antics as we smashed 3 balls each to see if we can get it up to the upper tiered fairway, across the lake. The carry over water was about 210 meters or so, and with 3 balls, I managed to cross but couldn’t get it to the upper tier, settling at a small landing area about 90 meters from the hole. Only one of us, with a massive drive managed to reach the top tier. He skulled his approach and settled for a bogey while I parred it, and brought back at least a good memory of my otherwise forgettable game.

Fun Factor (4/5)

It’s not often you can say you had a lot of fun when you stumble to a 94. I actually played better than I scored, for once. And strangely played better at the harder 9 coming in. Except for the first hole, I didn’t descend into my patented crapshot, the low duck hook that veers right to left about 100 meters down the other fairway or right into OB. Of course, I went to the other extreme, the big push to the right, which caused my triple bogey on the 3rd by blasting it over the fence into oblivion. Two holes later, I pushed my shot into the lake, hit my 3rd into the rough, lost it (this is where I was a little annoyed with the caddie), chipped illegally my 6th and carded my second triple. I had 2 doubles on both sides of the nines, but I actually played a lot better after the downpour except for the stupid shot at 16th where I duffed it into the drink.

There are a couple of things you need to be careful of:

1) The distance markers suck. Really, they do. They actually measure only to the front of the green, usually where the deep bunkers lie in wait. In the cart, there is a crude drawing (I wished I photographed it!) of the pin positions of the day and additional yardage calculation. Why they do this, only heaven knows. It’s not as if we are smart enough to keep referring back to the drawing. We usually just get down from the buggy, walk and hit, and walk again. Which brings me to my second point:

2) The caddies aren’t superb either. Actually we only had one, and she wasn’t great. She kept giving us yardages that were shorter. She claims she’s calculating in meters and telling us to the middle of the flag but she’s lying. I doubt she can calculate yards to meters on the fly. I bet she’s simply subtracting 30 away, because Templer’s average yards per hole is 375, which is about 343, so minus 30 right. Now if it’s 100 yards, she’ll say its 70 meters. But it actually is 91.44 meters! CRAPSHOOT! So lots of the high score came not from lousy shots but from shots that were short. And in Templer, short means in the drink or in the bunker. Beware of the converting caddie. Just tell her to give you in yards and you make your own judgement.

3) Your buggy can sit 4 people! It’s crazy cool! Of course it’s more difficult to control, but hey, it’s quite a good invention. Drive with care….

4) Templer Park’s notorious for having ghost stories. One of it was that on the backswing, you’ll see your caddie at the corner of your eye behind you, but when you’ve hit it, she’s in front of you. Another one is that the ghost will applaud and say “Good Shot!” in one of the par 3s. Another one is that they will see an extra ball on the green. Another one is that when your ball goes into the jungle, it will be thrown out again. I like the last ghost best, but I didn’t see any of it, so I’ll just assume as I always do, that ghosts are a bunch of bollocks. Here’s what I got from a forum:

Prisoners were executed and buried here during the 2nd. world war by the Japanese army. Coincidentally this golf course was the first to introduce night golfing. But night golfing stopped after a short while.”


Except for the first three holes, the experience of Templer Park was really good. First, you’ll need an A game here. OB doesn’t often come in play but the bunkers really kill you. They are littered everywhere! For a course that’s not too far out of the way, its striking beauty will definitely leave an impression on you. The holes are championship material, the course well designed, and the greens very well maintained. If they fix their fairways, this will be an A-list course for sure.

The good: Decent travel time; superb scenery; greens are almost immaculate; tough, challenging rough forces you to keep the ball in the short stuff; every hole has distinct personality; 4 seater buggy is a cool idea.

The bad: The price! With lousy fairways, they should be decent enough to slash it for us; distance hard to gauge; caddie is below average, yet have to tip her; tougher back 9 for short hitters; ghosts don’t throw the ball out; monkeys will attack your buggy (serious this one).

The skinny: 27 of 40 divots (67.5%). It’s not the best we’ve played but for the view, it’s definitely worth braving the jam and ghosts to get there. If you do well here, you’ll probably do well in most courses in Malaysia. A definite go for us.

Templer Park Scorecard

Templer Park Information


Templer Park Country Club

KM21, Jalan Rawang, Rawang

48000 Kuala Lumpur,

Selangor, Malaysia

Contact: +603-60919111

Fax: +603-60919807



SSG Beringin Golf Club


You know the school nerd that suddenly gets hot once she gets past the teenage years? Well, we’ve been hearing a lot about Beringin for some time. Now, I have never played there before but I recall one day, early in my golf career, when I was cangkul-ling the ground at Bukit Beruntung, I complained out loud to my brother: “We traveled all the way for this??” Because, at that time, Beruntung was crap. I don’t know how it is now, but it used to be the entire fairway was like a giant bunker. Not only for one hole. But for 18 bloody holes!

My brother responded, “You should be glad you’re not at Lembah Beringin, it’s even worse!”

And from there on, Lembah Beringin has become synonymous to crap, lousy, piece of stool, mother of all crappy courses, a gigantic piece of dung…you get the idea. It seems awfully unfair to rate it like that before we even see it, but you know, I have a high regard for my brother’s advice. And anything worse than Beruntung has gotta be something beyond our wildest nightmare.

Recently we keep hearing how Lembah Beringin has changed, due to Saujana taking over. Now, Saujana are the geniuses who gave us Impiana and of course Saujana course. Golfers who went to Beringin, came back with wonderful tales of a glorious change, of a magnificent course worthy to be a championship course. It wasn’t just a name change—ditching the unpronounceable-to-foreigners ‘Lembah’ was a good idea. It removed any obvious name jokes golfers are so notorious for: like Lembik Beringin, (Weakling) Lembu Beringin (Cow), Lemas Beringin (Drowning), Lebam Beringin (Bruising). Golfers who crack such stupid jokes and laugh at it should be shot on sight with a 12 gauge shotgun, and remains fed to hyenas.

Anyway, due to such exciting news of the newly called SSG Beringin, we packed up into a car and headed up north to this mythical course.

Travel (3/5)

We absolutely hate traveling to the northern course (i.e north of Klang Valley). Where as you see the southern courses are all closely clustered (Bangi, Kajang, Palm Garden, UPM, Impiana etc), the northern courses always feels as if you need to pack your passport. Anything after Rawang, and we’re hitting the outer reaches of space. But we’ll try to be fair and give more points to courses that are easily accessible, even if they are located in Timbuktu. To get to Beringin (we will just call the darn course SSG now, shall we?), it’s easy, head to the NKVE (you know how to get there don’t you?), easiest from the Damansara Toll, and head to Ipoh/Rawang. You will travel a long, long time, past Rawang, past Bukit Beruntung and finally arrive at the Lembah Beringin Exit. Take that and ta-da! The course is right next to the turn off. It’s that easy. In fact, it’s so easy, it doesn’t even need a map. If you can’t find it, you don’t deserve to be called a fully functional seeing man. Or woman, as if women actually read this blog.

Because it doesn’t try to purposely waste our petrol like Bukit Unggul, we are going to give it a 3. It’s far, but it’s easy to find.

Price (4/5)

We paid RM65 all in, and they didn’t force any caddy on us, which is good, because we don’t like paying extra, especially after burning so much petrol to get here. In fact, I’ll have to admit, the price was pretty good, considering we were walk ins and in normal cases, walk ins are treated only slightly better than the cow dung remover. Not the person removing the cow dung, but the actual equipment itself. So it was good that they didn’t slaughter us with some ridiculous pricing like 120RM or something, and use the Saujana name to justify the price.

First thoughts

One guy from my flight mentioned that Beringin was a short and easy course.

“No OB one!” he stoutly declared.

He is obviously one of those who fall under the non functional seeing man category. The first hole itself was a daunting dogleg right, to cut, you have to fly over the jungle. I made it, but took 3 to get on and stupidly 3 putted for a double bogey start.

The course was short, definitely. Easy? Not really.

Service (1/5)

Service is definitely not their strongest point. Firstly, the registration girl was so slow, we thought we had entered into an X dimension where time is slowed to half. Seriously, she was just staring blankly at the computer screen for a few moments while the queue was piling up behind us. I finally had enough and got my friend to stand in there while I changed. The changing room wasn’t any better. It had a musty smell of bad ventilation. I changed and came out after 15 minutes, and yep, the line was still there, and we still had to wait.

The cracker would be this. Apparently, this club has no sirens. Sirens, as in not the mythical sea creatures, but the ominous horn that sounds the death knell for all golfers: lightning, stop playing. We struggled through our round with heavy rain at the later half, and as we didn’t hear the siren, we thought, well, let’s trust the club’s lightning meter and play on.

It finally struck us as we teed up the 18th in a blizzard like rain, with no visibility and sheets of water cascading down on us, and us drenched to the bone; that we might not have heard the siren go off. Surely, that was a flash of lightning. And another and another. And here’s like a whole series of them, crackling up above us, as the wind whipped up water like Noah’s flood. We looked around us and saw we were right under high tension wires, carrying probably 1000000 volts of electrical current, in a thunderstorm.

We abandoned the last hole, put in an arbitrary score and headed back to the clubhouse. We went straight to the marshal sitting there, warm as a puppy, with a sleepy look on his face and we demanded, where the heck was their siren? Did it sound at all?

With a shrug, he said, “Tak Tahu”, which translates to, “Don’t know, but you are morons to be playing in this weather.” I doubt there’s any sirens in this club! DARNIT! We could have been fried chicken out there! How can you NOT know if there was a siren or not?

Fairways (2/5)

Bah, cowgrass. I hate to sound picky, since my home course is also cow grass, but after playing in Bermuda, going back to cowgrass simply sucked. Plus, the fairway wasn’t holding up well in the rain. At times, I had to wade through the water to get to my ball. Even the second hole, a long 525m par 5 had fairways narrower than Kate Moss, so stupid as we were, we thumped our drivers nearly into oblivion. No OB? This course was all OB, dude!! But the lower score is really for it’s condition. Besides not holding well up to the rain, the fairway had patches of sand and was fairly bald in many places.

Greens (5/5)

We see what the fuss is about. The greens were apparently called TifEagle, which has as much meaning to us than the word garbulomumbo. Call it what you want, the greens in this club really, really rocked. As in, what a green. While all the other aspects were bad, or medium bad, once you’re on the green, you’re like in a velvet carpet. It’s that good. The ball bit, spun, danced, and basically showed us once again that if Saujana specializes in anything, it’s their greens. Despite the drizzle, the greens played fast, causing me to 3 putt twice in the first 3 holes, before getting used to it. If there’s anything that’s worth the travel, price and struggle through the fairways, it’s the greens. Top notch.

Rough (3/5)

Say what you like about SSG, it punishes way ward shots, and that means all of ours. We like the grip it and rip it style of Palm Garden, Bukit Kemuning, and don’t really fancy constipated courses like Nilai Springs and Seremban 3. Unfortunately, SSG lands in the latter category. There are a few exceptions, but most of the holes, from the narrow par 5 2nd and 7th, to the skinny 15th with hazard on the right. Bring lots of balls and if you’re not confident with your driver, use a 5 wood to negotiate. No kidding. If we had stuff the big dog back into the bag and use our 5 wood, we would have scored like 67 on this course. Well, thereabouts. As it is, being typically monkey-like golfers, we always think our next drive would be better, until we lose a dozen balls or more. Tough rough.

Aesthetics (2/5)

As much as we love the TifEagle greens, the rest of the course just wasn’t extremely picturesque. Unlike Bukit Unggul (as much as we hate that course, you gotta admit, it’s quite pretty), where the OB is lined with jungle; the OB here is typically lalang and ‘semak samun’. I don’t know what it’s called in English. Like those grass that reclaims the land, kind of. It’s not pretty, but worse, there’s no way that your ball might careen off a branch and come back in play, since there’s no branches. It’s just hip deep waste bushes that will eat up your balls.

One thing about Beringin, is that it is a dead town. I think the history was that everyone thought the international airport was going to be up north of Klang Valley, so housing estates like Beruntung and Beringin sprouted up, hoping to cash in. Lots of buyers bought homes there, to be a step ahead. Suddenly, the airport went south to Sepang, and homeowners in Beringin were left to die. I heard a story of someone who purchased his home for 150,000RM and now, the selling price is about 80,000RM.

Around the golf course, you see homes that were supposed to be grand golf homes, like those at Tropicana, but now, overgrown with weeds, Mother Nature is taking it back. It’s actually very depressing. We couldn’t wait to scoot out of there. We half expected wide eyed creatures peeking out from the soulless windows hissing, “Come, my preciousssssss.” Yikes!

Fun Factor(3/5)

We actually had quite a nice time, even though we were struggling like baboons being forced to undergo acupuncture. The OB really got the better of us. But the 10th hole was a cracker. It’s a 290 meter drivable par 4 from an elevated tee box. You’re probably at the highest point and us being golf cowboys, snapped up our drivers, sauntered to the white tees, and let it rip to the green. There’s a huge raving fronting the green so anything that can’t carry 250 meters is in deep do-do. From the white, you needed about 270 to reach the green. From the elevated tee box, we gauged that a 250 meter drive would do the trick, with 230 to cross the ravine.

Both of us who tried made it. In fact, my friend, hit it so long, it reached the black tee of the next hole, over a pair of Korean women teeing up at the red. Mine landed in deep rough at the side and I stumbled around for a par.


If you have a group of jokers who’ll keep you from dying of boredom, it’s actually quite worth the drive to Beringin. I mean, look, if you were planning to head out to Beruntung, you can go the extra mile or so, right? The greens are certainly worth your attention, and you better enjoy it now, in case SSG decides to pull out of the club like they did for Impiana. Unlike Impiana, Beringin just doesn’t have the volume of visitors to keep it from descending back into reclaimed land.

The good: The greens, definitely; the course is very strategically located right next to the turn off; challenging holes like the 10th makes it fun; reasonably well maintained; reasonable pricing

The bad: Heavy on the petrol; fairways are not so great; narrowness of the course might not suit some; aesthetically depressing; deaf and blind marshals that cannot hear or see lightning; there’s no bloody siren.

The skinny: 23 of 40 divots (57.5%). We expected nothing much from the course and got something out of it. We will likely give it another go, if the price of petrol comes down…which might be 50 years from now when we learn the art of teleportation. Still, it’s a go…you gotta try out the greens!

SSG Beringin Score Card

SSG Beringin Information

Lembah Beringin,
44110 Kuala Kubu Bahru,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Contact: +603-64600016

Fax: +603-64600018

Damai Laut GCC


Wow, it’s been some time since we reviewed a course, and even longer that we’ve gone out of KL! So the opportunity came to play at Damai Laut GCC in Lumut, Perak, we snapped it up. Being the city brats we are, we have absolutely no idea where on earth is this Damai Laut located, but being the gila golfers, we readily took the challenge to go and hack it. Also, the hole 15, their signature hole. We like to play at courses that people talk about, and in this case, the course had quite a lot of prestigious sounding awards:

  1. 3rd most scenic course by Golf Malaysia 2005/2006.
  2. Hole #15 – second most scenic hole in Malaysia
  3. Hole #13 – third in Par Golf Super 18 Malysia Award.

With pedigree like that, you can’t go wrong can you? Damai Laut we go!!

Travel (2/5)

Now, let’s make this clear. Traveling to Damai Laut is SHEER TORTURE. But this is really a difficult category to judge because it’s very subjective how we view traveling individually. How did we give Datai Bay 3, when we had to take a bloody flight and drive halfway across the island? We measured it from where we were staying. Likewise, we’ll need to be fair in this. Nobody in their right mind will travel all the way to Damai Laut, play golf, and come back. We need to measure it from where we stayed, at Swiss Garden. In this case, it was right next door, but we’ll refrain from giving it a 5 because the resort is so ridiculously out of the way, it’s as if the hotel management wanted to start their own little country at the edge of Perak.

In fact the instructions to get to this forsaken place is so darn long, it warrants its own page for you to get through , and hopefully without falling asleep.

Driving from South Malaysia:

Driving from North Malaysia:

Crazy. Here’s the map.

We took the Bidor exit, but there are several ways to get there. The stupid thing is that there’s a place called Damar Laut. I think it’s a fake copy of the real Damai Laut. It’s unbelievable that there would be people out there that think this is a great idea. It’s like calling your son Tiger Wooks and get him to pose in red shirt and Nike Cap, and paint his face black. What’s the idea? If you ain’t Woods, you ain’t him! Damar Laut folks, what’s the deal??!

Unless you are a crazy person, refrain from driving there, play golf and coming back. From PJ, it took us 5 hours to get there. Umm, ok, we stopped and ate. A lot. Who cares? It’s a freaking long trip!

Price (3/5)

Unlike the published rates on the website, they gave us RM150 for all in, because we were guests at the Swiss Garden Resort, and because (we suspect), they have only gerbils to entertain the staff for the past 6 months. The course was like walking into a post apocalyptic world, like “I am Legend”. Beautiful, yet hauntingly empty.

We like the fact that even though it was quite a lot to pay for the weekday, at least they refrained from cutting our throats. They could have charged RM200 and we would have been forced to play, having traveled so far.

First thoughts

We packed 4 flights and zoomed off for an afternoon tee off, under the blazing hot sun. But being at the coast, a nice wind came up and it was certainly very, very refreshing to stand on the first tee, a blind hole that drops to the green, and even more so, when my first ball carved into a nice draw and rolled 250 meters down the fairway.

Damai Laut is HOT, not in the wow, she’s hot HOT, but the darn, I think I am gonna die, HOT. We played the first 9 as dry as dry can be and that’s why we were blasting our tee shots prodigiously. The turn, rain set in, and the wind whipped up so it was quite a good experience, to play Damai Laut dry, and then in British Open condition.

Service (1/5)

Now, I know they don’t really have a lot of guest that will come all the way to play the course, which makes it even more important to service us! We arrived at the club house, we had to take our bags from the car, and after waiting a while at the front and it became evident no living thing will greet us and take our bags in for us, we lugged our stuff all the way in. Come on, Damai Laut, you can do better than this. If you advertised your great service, how about giving us some respect and helping us out? At least in Datai, they really made you feel as if you are the king of the world (or the king of stupidity to pay RM350 for a game), but hey, at least. This gets a stingy 1 from gilagolf, because of their stingy service.

Fairways (4/5)

Like we mentioned earlier, we had a chance to test the course on both conditions: extremely dry and windy wet. I obviously preferred playing it dry because the ball runs and never stops. In my first 9, for those shots that caught the fairway, I never had a drive under 250 meters. It was highly entertaining. The fairways were a little patchy in some parts, but overall it played very very well. And even when wet, drainage was good, and it held up very well. Again, it’s a little short of perfect because the maintenance wasn’t as pristine as say Datai or Tropicana, but it’s among the best we played.

Greens (2/5)

Unfortunately the good feeling didn’t last, and we watched in dismay as Damai Laut’s greens fell hopelessly short of the condition expected in a premium course. Even on the first hole, one of my partners remarked with obvious distaste, “Why so sandy one?!?!”. It wasn’t as bad as Selesa (which to us is not a golf course, but a pile of junk that makes us prefer to eat live cockroaches than to play there again), but as one of the premier courses in Malaysia, we expect at least a little consistency in its greens. Nope what we had was sandy greens and in one hole, the par 5 5th, I had to almost chip with my putter to coax the ball uphill across the green with the amount of sand. A very disappointing 2.

Rough (3/5)

The rough wasn’t that much better. Several times I went into the rough and it’s not difficult enough to hit it out. Instead, a few times, the rough was so forgiving, it sat up like on a tee, allowing me to scramble for par the 2 times I missed the fairway on my front nine. We’re a strange breed. We complain that the rough is too tough and the rough is not too enough. The second 9 played slightly harder because as the rain came, our ball settled easier into the rough and boy, we struggled a bit.

Aesthetics (3/5)

OK, this is where we have the MOST gripe about. For the 3rd most scenic course in Malaysia, we’ll have to conclude that whoever did the poll was either secretly blind, or he was treated to 10 years free massage in Swiss Garden Resort. Because it’s nowhere near as pretty as Datai, or even Impiana or Meru. It’s probably thereabouts with Tiara Melaka or something, but there was just no wow factor, that made us go, well, WOW! We all expected the next hole to be better, and then the next hole, and then the next hole. But as we went along, it was evident, this was no Pebble Beach or Pinehurst. Being a coastal golf course, we expected a lot more. Even the darn scorecard promised a beautiful scenery and we all thought, ok, Hole #15 is simply going to blow our minds away.

We finally reached hole #15 and I went, “This can’t be right.” The tee box was next to the lake, which is green like milk tea, and all I saw was a dogleg right and some kids playing. That’s right. Kids. They just popped up from no where and played this signature hole and disappeared later. So we waited and mulled, “Is this the legendary 2nd most scenic hole in Malaysia?” “Are we too stupid to appreciate it?” From there, a hooked drive caused my ball to jump into the left rough and as we drove nearer, the beauty slowly unfolded.

It’s no big deal.

One, the picture on the scorecard is fake. The ocean is photoshopped into the card. The real hole #15 is nothing like it. The hole drops drastically to the green, but it’s not something we’ve never seen before. The sea is behind the green, but it’s not the open sea, it has Pangkor island listlessly sitting in the background. A ship was docked near the bay, blocking whatever beauty that was left, and adding to the disappointment of it all.

Golf Malaysia really screwed up on this one. I think they didn’t even come here to play. I think they were just sent a photoshopped picture, or the scorecard and in the letter told, “Nice hole, free massage for good reviews.”. In fact, we preferred the Hole #13 par 3, surrounded by bunkers.

We were so disappointed with this mythical 2nd most scenic hole, we played 4-5 balls each from the top of the hill into the green, like a driving range.

Fun Factor (4/5)

Despite Damai Laut’s fading into mediocrity, and the obvious disappointment of us all, that we drove all the way to play a course that resembles Nilai Springs or something, we still managed to have fun. One playing partner birdied the 2nd and did a jig that must be censored for the innocence of our sight. Perhaps we were all in a relaxed holiday mood and the weather was nice for the first 9. Whatever the reason, I went into a hot streak parring my first 6 holes, before dropping one at the 7th. On the 8th, I hit one of my best drive ever that hit the hill and rolled to about 30 meters away from the green, a 320 meter drive. Being so full of myself, I stupidly duffed my pitch, hit an embrassing chip and humiliated myself by missing my par putt.

On the very next hole, the 9th, it’s a drivable par 4 at 280 meters. You had to carry about 200 meters of water uphill, and on top of that, navigate your shot over the trees. The bail out was on the left, but already boiling over my previous hole, I hit another cracker that missed the trees by a few millimeters and flew long and straight to the fringe of the green. Again, full of myself, I proceeded to run my eagle putt 6-7 feet by and miss the come back putt. At that time, I was ready to dunk my whole head into the ball cleaner in the buggy. It’s a cool thing, it cleans your dirty balls. Golf balls, that is.

I scored a 38, that could have been a 36. Could have, would have should have. I’ve hit all except 2 fairways, 4 greens in regulations, drove the green at number nine and playing superbly. This was my day to break 80 and celebrate the milestone.

Back 9, I started with a par, and then it all unraveled. I started hooking, I started dunking my balls in the water, I started to three putt. As good as my front 9 was, I played like a cow on the back 9. At 42, it’s actually a good score, but here was my stats: 3 3-putts that could have got me pars, 0 fairways hit. Bogey after bogey, until I needed a birdie to break 80 on the index 2 last hole, a snaky par 5 at 520 meters. My drive borrowed fairway of the next hole, but I recovered to have a 10 foot try for birdie.

It turned at the last moment agonizingly and I settled for an 80, my best score ever, but like all golf scores, a story of missed opportunities. Every dog will have its day, and my day will come.


Damai Laut is really a nice course. That’s it. It’s not supposed to be a nice course. With so many awards, we were expecting this baby to break into the DAGTH category but instead, watched its stock fall lower and lower to a disappointing 60%. Will we play it again? Sure, if they transport the whole dang course to somewhere more accessible! For now, the staff will be stuck with their gerbils until the next batch of tourist golfers come by the resort.

The good: Easy drive from the resort; well conditioned fairways; interesting holes (9th, 13th); reachable par 5s and par 4s for one ons; able to get a crack at your best scores here due to forgiveness.

The bad: Hellish drive from anywhere else; service non existent, unless you are a gerbil; disappointing greens and rough; by far, the hole #15 is more disappointing than seeing the most beautiful girl in your high school turn into a pimply dumpling at the reunion.

The skinny: 24 of 40 divots (60%). We will definitely play again if we ever end up in Swiss Garden Resort, which is as much a certainty as seeing a pack of hyenas do a cha-cha with a herd of winged zebras that has a single horn on their head (why do they call it unicorn and not uniHorn?). Recommended only for resort folks on a holiday.

Damai Laut Scorecard

Damai Laut GCC Information


Damai Laut Golf & Country Club

Hala Damai 2, Jalan Damai Laut, Off Jalan Teluk Senangin,

32200 Lumut,

Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.

Contact: +605-6859330

Fax: +605-6181018